Post-Fordism, the welfare state and the personal social services: A comparison of Australia and Britain

Harris, J. and McDonald, C. (2000) Post-Fordism, the welfare state and the personal social services: A comparison of Australia and Britain. British Journal of Social Work, 30 1: 51-70. doi:10.1093/bjsw/30.1.51


Author Harris, J.
McDonald, C.
Title Post-Fordism, the welfare state and the personal social services: A comparison of Australia and Britain
Journal name British Journal of Social Work   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-3102
Publication date 2000-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/bjsw/30.1.51
Volume 30
Issue 1
Start page 51
End page 70
Total pages 20
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2000
Language eng
Subject C1
750310 Carers development and welfare (i.e. carers for the aged, disabled)
370204 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
1607 Social Work
Abstract The Post-Fordist welfare state thesis locates contemporary social welfare change within a wider analysis of the transformation of capitalist accumulation regimes. Whilst this analysis is useful in directing attention to macro socio-economic change, it has for the most part contained three shortcomings. First, the Post-Fordist thesis has overemphasized the role of historical 'breaks' in the development of social welfare as it purportedly passes from Fordism to Post-Fordism. Second, the thesis has assumed a degree of convergence between welfare states as a result of global economic forces. In doing so, it has underemphasized the mediating impact of existing institutional arrangements within nations. Third, the thesis has assumed, rather than demonstrated, the specific changes which are alleged to be taking place in various fields of social welfare. As a consequence, aspects of continuity in social welfare have been neglected. These three lacunae are addressed through a comparative analysis of developments in the personal social services in Australia and Britain. Services to older people are employed as the specific context of comparison in relation to three dimensions of measuring transformation along a Post-Fordist trajectory: a shift from a unitary economy to a mixed economy of service provision; changes in the model of service delivery and consumption; and strengthening the governance function of the central state. This comparative analysis suggests the need for refinement of the Post-Fordist welfare state thesis concerning the restructuring of social welfare and its impact on the personal social services.
Keyword Social Work
Community Care
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 19 Aug 2007, 15:14:36 EST